James “Jim” F. Bouwens, age 94 of Birnamwood, passed away on Monday, February 12, 2018 at the Homme Home of Wittenberg.
He was born on March 5, 1923 in Antigo, son of the late William and Lula Belle (Sorenson) Bouwens. On July 14, 1951 he married Esther Helen Matz, who survives.
Jim served his country in WWII in the US Army Air Corps, where he was stationed in Alaska and Austria. As a young man, Jim moved with his family to the Alaskan Frontier to help establish the state of Alaska. He and his family were true pioneers, homesteading in the Matanuska Valley and establishing the city of Palmer, AK. Jim worked as an auto mechanic, and also was a bus driver for the Wittenberg-Birnamwood school district. He was a trustee on the village of Birnamwood, a Sunday school teacher at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Birnamwood, and was a member of the Darling-Gunderson Post #341 American Legion. Family and friends were everything to Jim. He enjoyed spending time at any and all family events. He also loved a good joke and a hot cup of coffee. He was truly the best and will be forever missed.
Survivors include his wife, Esther, Birnamwood; two daughters, Jo Ann Olson, Birnamwood, and Janet (Gary) Heinecke, Sheboygan Falls; 5 grandchildren, Richard (Megan) Olson, Jr., Birnamwood, Crystal (Jamey) Koles, Green Bay, Tina (Robbie) Haas, Malone, Scott (April) Heinecke, Glenbulah, and Brooke (special friend Drew Brunner) Heinecke, Sheboygan; great-grandchildren, Marcianna and Abigail Olson, Carter and Morgan Koles, Tina Lynn Heinecke, and Marijana Mayleigh.
Funeral service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Birnamwood. Rev. Matthew Christians will officiate. Burial will be in Forest Cemetery, Birnamwood, where military honors will be conducted by the Darling-Gunderson American Legion Post #341. Visitation will be from 9:30 AM until the time of service on Saturday at the church. Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Birnamwood is assisting the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Birnamwood.
Memories and condolences may be given at www.schmidtschulta.com, or on Facebook at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home.